When you get to advanced years, you begin to disintegrate somehow and your body might, in the worst case, resemble the building in the photo. Things do not work as well as they used to. Mr. Swiss and I both know it, but we can share our symptoms. He has back ache, so do I, but his back ache is not the same as mine. I have problems getting out of bed in the morning, the first steps are the most difficult. When I arrive at the window to open it and let the morning air in, my feet and legs are still attached and seem to know what they should do. They just have to think about it when I am sitting on the edge of the bed before movement begins.
I very rarely, if at all, have a headache. Oh, I used to, but since I stopped smoking many years ago, the headaches also stopped. There must be a connection, at least it was not a symptom of something worst, otherwise it would not have disappeared.
When I had my fall at the beginning of last year, I visited my GP for a checkup. She sent me to the hospital and they discovered nothing was broken. This had been going on for longer. I was always injuring something somewhere, generally because I fell, mainly through being giddy. I never had a thorough examination, as at the age of 40 you really do not need one. It was all a matter of balance, probably from the ears. This sort of thing can happen, no big deal, but my doc sent me to a neurologist who sent me to the special department at the hostpital because she found it had been going on too long. Symptoms? I did not think so, but the result came back as MS, so I must have had a few. You have to recognise your symptoms.
Anyhow I do not want to give a analysis of my health situation, but it was I who told the neurologist it is probably MS. I mean when you get bills arriving from four different town hospitals in Switzerland you know that something is going on. He confirmed it after the results of the tests. How did I get the idea of what it could be? Hey, today we have internet. Everyone is there own doctor. Just put in a few short hints on the Internet and you get at least ten different web sites to choose from.
Your hip hurts – you can have sciatica, a hernia, with a few others in between until it gets to cancer, which seems to turn up everywhere in the list of symptoms. Eventually what began as a quick look becomes a major tragedy. Of course, you go to the doctor and they want to be on the safe side so send you for a further expensive examinations at the hospital. Perhaps the result is just a sprain and nothing more. I remember the wise words of my neurologist, who I now seen from time to time. He said Mrs. Angloswiss, I will give you a tip. Do not search too much in Internet about your MS. Anyone can write anything and most of it is not to be relied on.
He did add the link for the official society in Switzerland, and I told him that the British also have a good society. He was interested and asked for the link: anything else is a no go, because there are too many variations on the theme.
If you have a symptom today, the first advice you get from anyone is have a look in Internet, who needs a doctor. There are, of course, the colleagues who tell you “I have that as well”. Eventually you realise that your symptom is not something private or individual, you are sharing it with everyone else, so it cannot be so bad after all.
I no longer have symptoms, just aches and pains, but as long as Mr. Swiss and I both have aches and pains we never run out of a conversation topic.